The United States was the traditional powerhouse in the double sculls and, despite the retirement of Paul Costello, who helped his nation win three consecutive Olympic titles in the event, was still considered the favorite. The men who replaced Costello, Garrett Gilmore and Ken Myers, were former Olympic medalists: Gilmore had been the runner-up in the single sculls in 1924, while Myers had taken silver in the coxed fours and the single sculls in 1920 and 1928 respectively. They would not, however, go unchallenged. In addition to Canada, typically the Americans’ greatest opponent, Germany had the strong duo of Gerhard Boetzelen and Herbert Buhtz, the latter of whom missed an almost certain medal in the single sculls due to illness.
In the opening round, the Germans and the Americans had the misfortune of being paired together, but the United States managed to emerge victorious by nearly seven seconds, confirming their dominance in the event. The Canadians easily dispatched Italy and Brazil in their heat, while the Germans eliminated the latter nation in the repêchage. The final was almost no contest: the Americans finished over five seconds before of the Germans, who in turn were almost five seconds ahead of the Canadians; Italy, over 20 seconds slower than Canada, was never a factor. Thus the United States continued its undefeated streak in the event, while Germany and Canada settled for silver and bronze respectively.